Dr. Kirk Kimmerling, a cosmetic dentist in Marietta, GA has his perspective on what young people need to change in their drinking and eating habits for better oral health. With the ever-changing lifestyles of families in America, young people partake in sports more than ever before. Many families are on the go. School sporting teams, as well as community teams for the young have become a way of life. Although it has been excellent for their overall physical health, their mouths and teeth have paid the price. It is these very children eating on the run, and consuming sugary/acidic drinks that may be a recipe for oral disaster. Although, the sporting lifestyle is excellent, eating and drinking habits need to change.
Cavities are caused by bacteria that live in the mouth. Certain bacterias when fed sugar/carbohydrates produce acids that demineralize tooth structure. Your saliva helps to prevent this demineralization by neutralizing the acids produced by the bacteria. A tooth actually has the ability to repair itself, however when the acid overwhelms the tooth and it loses more minerals than it can produce, the decay process takes place. The tooth loses the battle against the over-whelming bacteria and acid attack.
Continual drinking of sugary or acidic drinks during sporting events also is continual feeding of the cavity causing bacteria. This allows an environment for the bacteria to thrive and accelerate demineralization of your child’s teeth. Sipping sugary sports drink is not good for your child’s teeth. The same holds true for eating on the run without brushing or flossing. The trapped food between the teeth feeds the bacteria. Since, molars tend to trap food, this is why so many cavities happen between back teeth. Once an acid is produced, it can stay in the mouth for up to a half hour, and possibly many hours during a sporting event if your child sips it slowly.
The idea is to limit the food fed to the bacteria. If possible, change the hydration of choice to water or unsweet tea. If you are not willing to compromise on giving up the sports drink, then drink it all at once before the event so you are not dousing your teeth for hours. Then, have your child rinse their mouth with water to help rinse any residual drink away. Your child may object to the change at first, but realize the benefits when he has a better check-up at the dentist later.
As your child eats on the go, give them a piece of unsweet gum to help dislodge any food trapped between their teeth. If possible, buy the gum with xylitol sugar. This sugar actually helps kill the sugar that produces the acid. The bacteria can not metabolize it, and inhibits its growth. Since, bacteria can not do its destruction unless it is fed, give it less to eat.
In conclusion, protect the oral health of your children by changing small habits now. These recommendations can possibly make all the difference to your child’s dental health. Looking for more information on Dr. Kirk Kimmerling, see his website http://www.drkirkkimmerling.com